No difference between a crooked politician and a general

Posted: October 31, 2010 in Corruption
Tags: , ,

Should I feel sorry for a couple of our former defence chiefs? They led one of the largest armies in the world, and yet were clueless about things happening under their very noses. No one told them anything, they claim, when it came to putting money into a housing project. The poor dears!

Do you believe that? I don’t. Of course, it’s another matter that I take most anything I’m told with large doses of salt. I mean, these are the ex-chiefs of the army and navy – intelligent, highly trained, decorated and very senior defence officers – not some unsuspecting villagers from an obscure place who are told to sign off their properties on a blank paper. That is why I find difficult to swallow when they say they were not aware. As bad as the Maharashtra Chief Minister saying that he didn’t know his relatives were buying flats in Adarsh Housing Society, especially when he sanctioned it!

Just think, they invested lakhs of rupees (they couldn’t have got it at market price or it would have been in crores) in the multi-storeyed building in Mumbai’s posh Colaba area and no one told them that the land was originally purchased for war widows and ex-servicemen; which was also originally supposed to be six floors but suddenly shot up by another 25! Heck, even ordinary folks like you and me, go through the documents with a fine toothcomb to ensure we’re not being taken for a ride by the developers at the signing and registration stage. And these defence chiefs didn’t ask and didn’t check? Do these guys come from Pluto?

That’s a bit like Sharad Pawar saying he had no clue what Lalit Modi was up to with regard to the IPL. Now that the pious humbugs (and I am referring to the gentlemen from the armed forces) have been caught with their pants down, they are desperately trying to wash their hands off the sordid affair by offering to return the property. I can expect scumbag politicians to cheat their own mothers, because we don’t expect any better. But when it’s done by very senior and highly decorated defence chiefs, it makes my bile rise. I’m sure, you feel the same way.

Years ago, in 1984, when Indira Gandhi asked the Indian Army to invade the Golden Temple to end the siege by Bhindranwale, I was on a train returning to Pune. When the Sikh gentleman next to me read the story, his eyes brimmed with tears, and I thought he would say a few uncomplimentary things about the PM. But what he said surprised me: “Yeh sardaron ne hamari naak katwa di. Ab hum kaise sar utha kar jiyenge” I am sure a lot of armed forces personnel who were and are still up there in Kargil fighting the enemy must be feeling the same way, after reading about the scam.

Will the revered St. Anthony (supposedly the ONLY honest minister in the Manmohan Singh Cabinet, apart from the PM himself), nail his former defence chiefs and ensure that they don’t get a single paisa refunded for the flats? After all, if an ordinary citizen, even unknowingly, invests his hard earned money in an illegal construction, he loses not only the home but also his money. Why should the army officers be treated any different? They’ve already lost that right.

A few weeks ago I read a report in the Pune edition of the Times of India about a contrite burglar who came back to the house he had burgled, and pleaded with the owner to turn him over to the cops, because he couldn’t stand the guilt anymore of having committed a crime.

Some six months ago, the burglar had cleaned out a citizen’s bungalow and fled the city. He settled somewhere, spent the loot and then wracked with guilt decided to return to the scene of his crime to confess. The house owner, initially, refused to believe the burglar’s story, but when the crook disclosed what all he had stolen, the man called the cops. There’s a strange but nauseating parallel between the burglar and the highly decorated officers.
Are Tarun Tejpal and Aniruddha Bahal having a quiet chuckle and raising a toast to the whistleblower?

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Comments
  1. jogesh mehta says:

    Dear Mohan,
    I always tell my buyers abroad that there is no such thing called corruption in India , as there is no way one can punish the guilty. The full system is done so bueatifully that although you have to pay to get things done , how do you give the proof?
    Now this same system is going further and slapping us on the face and saying proove it.
    What can we do , Rahul Ghandhi shouts that the educated must join the system , but the party ruled by his mother forgives mulayam one day and mayawati the next. They do not even have the guts to investigate Mamta.
    As i have always said: WE WERE AND ARE A CORRUPT NATION. IF WE WERE NOT , THE BRITISH WOULD HAVE NEVER RULED INDIA. CORRUPTION IS IN OUR BLOOD.
    AND NOW THIS CORRUPTION IS EATING US UP.IT IS A MAJOR VIRUS WHICH WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CONTROL.IT IS NOT THE PEOPLE BUT, THE CLEAN UP HAS TO START AT THE TOP. ONLY THEN WILL THINGS CHANGE.

  2. Mukund says:

    Sir,
    Agree with your comments.

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